21 Apr 2006

Australian official to discuss Papua visa row with Indonesia

1:13 pm on 21 April 2006

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade head is to meet Indonesia government officials in Jakarta today in a bid to ease tensions over the Papua visa row.

Relations have been strained between the two nations since Australia last month granted temporary protection visas to 42 Papuans.

Michael L'Estrange will meet the presidential spokesman, Dino Pati Jalal, at the state palace before heading across the city for crisis talks with Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda.

But the Sydney Morning Herald reports that, according to a South East Asia expert, Australia's top diplomat has little chance of improving relations with Indonesia.

Dr Sidney Jones of the International Crisis Group says she doesn't think the mission will immediately fix the relationship problem, although it will improve over time.